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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The National Interest Rivisited

In 2007 I wrote my Masters thesis entitled ‘Non –Proliferation Treaty Compliance and the National Interest.’ The title is self explanatory as can be seen. It deals with two major issues that have major implications for most countries across the globe today. It dealt first with the Non Proliferation Treaty or NPT as it is usually called. This treaty as I described it was a ‘landmark multilateral arms control agreement that was brought into force in March 1970.’ It is binding and ultimate aim is that of disarmament by the nuclear weapon states. ‘It has three principal goals. Foremost among these are the curtailment of any horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons to states without such capability, from those in possession of the technology. It further allows for the continuation of safe transfer of technology for peaceful purposes such as nuclear power facilities. The final objective is the control of further vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons.’ There is overwhelming support for this international law even in the face of weak enforcement mechanisms.

No subject I believe has dominated the airwaves, other outlets in the media, and political thoughts throughout the country and the globe as a whole since the end of the Cold- War. I found my constantly revising information and data with my advisor as events occurred. The other area of the topic deals with one that is also of great significance within Academia and political thoughts. It focused on the National Interest. Again no explanations are needed as to describe what this represents, although it can mean different things to different people. It is in simple language, whatever the policy makers or leaders of the day say it is. Generally is refers to but is not limited to foreign affairs.

It is why I pondered very much and gave serious though before choosing this subject. I knew that National Interest was going to be a central theme of my thesis, but wanted to touch on a subject that was domestic in nature. I wanted to focus on the black underclass in the USA and try to heighten interest on their plight with a view to enhancing positive change. Are you crazy asked one of my advisors as I breeched the subject with him? There is absolutely no interest in such a subject, he exclaimed. It is absolutely easy to comprehend such thinking. This is the greatest country on earth and many blacks are doing quite well. Perhaps those that aren’t are simply lazy or lack the right IQ to succeed as proposed by Prof. Charles Murray in the famous Bell Curve Theory. I wanted to explore this question as a matter of National Interest. What accounts for the obvious social, economic and political failures of Afro Americans in the USA since emancipation? Is it in the national interest to give this serious attention and study if the country is to remain a global power? Can you name another group that have sacrificed so much and contributed so unselfishly to the development of a country with so little reward?

If the USA is to hold its position in the world as a moral leader and point at other nations to do what is right for all its citizens, can it afford to do otherwise? Who needs to lead the drive and effort towards change? I could not help but recall the comments on a prospective female leader and Presidential contender, Senator Hilary Clinton to a question on the role and importance of politicians’ vs prudent activism by a vibrant and caring civil society. This was in the persons of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Dr Martin Luther King. She was partially correct when she claimed that no meaningful changes were ever made Vis-a –Vis King’s dream until or without LBJ’S political legislative actions.

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.

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